Here’s our most recent thinking around covid and our plans for Tigerlily. Marie and Lulu have both been teaching through the pandemic in separate programs and are now working together on the covid safety protocol for Tigerlily as we get closer to open enrollment in early February.
From Marie: On the Friday before Christmas I listened to disappointing news from Pfizer about a projected delay in covid vaccine eligibility for children under five. We started our school planning for 2022 hoping our 3- 5 year olds might be eligible to be vaccinated early in the new year. Pfizer’s announcement a week ago about a delayed timeline- now expected “sometime in the first half of the year” wasn’t what we wanted to hear. We’ve been so fortunate with the data on clinical trials and those of us with under five’s, so so so ready for those shots… it’s been a long pandemic. I started quarantine with a baby. Now he just celebrated his third birthday.
When the Pfizer news broke Lulu and I had already planned to meet at our space the next day. We kept that appointment, taking measurements in our space and putting our heads together about what our protocols might look like. We think moving forward with an anticipated March 2022 opening feels right. We’ll continue to follow Omicron as we all learn more but it’s looking like at minimum we’d use a mask requirement indoors, possibly outdoors as well, and move snack and lunchtime outdoors.
Since I’ve been teaching through covid in a cautious pod-style arrangement with one other family, my experience with masking little ones has been fairly limited to doctor office visits and the playground occasionally when it seems crowded. I was thinking very much about what Tigerlily might look like during a day last week at the Wildflower Center. We’ve upgraded from cloth to kids disposable KN95 masks (https://wellbefore.com) and it was a successful day for us. I definitely came away from that experience more confident that we can do this 🙂
Since we’re a new program building up our enrollment, we may naturally be beginning with a smaller group but even with a full roster of 13 children our indoor space of 1200 square feet and high ceilings means we do have space to spread out. I’m excited for people to come tour. We’re putting an open house together for early February. More details soon. -Marie
Here’s Lulu writing about what covid protocols have looked like so far in her program, Corazón:
At Corazón, I’d say the families came together from the beginning on the more cautious end of the spectrum regarding covid, with an agreement to adjust our program very flexibly as the circumstances in our local area have changed.
At the point that we began meeting in-person, vaccines were just starting to become available. Since we knew that the children in our program couldn’t be vaccinated, we figured the next best layer of protection we could provide was for all eligible household family members to be fully vaccinated for covid. We also agreed for children to be fully vaccinated within a few months of a safe & effective vaccine becoming available for their age groups.
We’ve also kept a watchful eye on local case rates and ICU capacity, and based our actions around that. We’ve moved our program to be 100% outdoors & masked. Even vaccinated grownups have masked up, in an effort to model solidarity with the children & our community.
While vaccines are still unavailable for our youngest children, and as case rates begin to skyrocket again, we’ll meet for a short Zoom Storytime when the weather is unfavorable. If local cases are low, we’ll spend the cold & rainy days inside, masked, and with high quality HEPA13 air filters going. Otherwise, we’ve been so fortunate to have great weather, and we’ve very much enjoyed our time together in this changed world. -Lulu